APRIL 7, 2023

Ferrai set to appeal Sainz's penalty

Ferrari has requested to the FIA the Right to Review regarding the five seconds penalty imposed on Carlos Sainz in the final moments of last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

Frederic Vasseur, Bahrain GP 2023
© Ferrari

By Luis Vasconcelos

Ferrari has requested to the FIA the Right to Review regarding the five seconds penalty imposed on Carlos Sainz in the final moments of last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur revealed this in a conference call held on Thursday afternoon, from Maranello, with a restricted group of media outlets that included Tokyo Chunichi Sports.

Having 14 days after the publication of the Australian Grand Prix results to request the Right to Review, Ferrari spent the last four days analyzing the events from the last four laps of the race in Melbourne and believes it has found new and relevant elements that should lead to a new appreciation of its driver’s penalty, according to Vasseur.

Explaining that, “I don’t want to give away many details, because we have to respect the procedure and we first want to put our case to the FIA, get the Right to Review and then go to the Stewards of the Meeting to present our evidence and give ours and Carlos’ view on the incident before speaking to the media about it”, Vasseur insisted that, “the decision was taken without giving Carlos or us the possibility to present our case.”

The veteran Frenchman admitted that, “as I’ve been in motor racing for 33 years now, I know that for every incident between drivers there are always two different versions”, before adding that, “the least we want is to be able to give our view, show our evidence but, of course, we hope to get a different outcome from the one we got in Melbourne.”

When pushed for more information about Ferrari’s request and asked if he was surprised there were no more penalties applied in that first corner incident - particularly to Pierre Gasly and Logan Sargeant, who took Esteban Ocon and Nyck de Vries, respectively, out of the race, while Fernando Alonso, who was tipped into a spin by Sainz, continued on track - Vasseur admitted that, “as you said, there were quite a few incidents in that final restart and, as you know, they were treated in a very different way by the Stewards. There’s the Gasly incident, yes, there’s the Sargeant incident as well, but there was no action taken on both these cases, so we want to understand how could that be possible.”

Once again Vasseur reiterated that, “we would also prefer that in the future, particularly in cases like this, when the podium ceremony doesn’t have to be delayed, as Carlos was in fourth place, not in a podium finish position, the Stewards wait until the end of the race to allow the drivers and their teams to present their evidence before handing a penalty. I mean, there was no rush, Fernando was always going to the podium, so they could have easily waited for Carlos and the team to finish the race and then go to the Stewards.”

What is not certain now, as the Frenchman explained, is “when the FIA will decide if the new evidence is enough for us to get the Right of Review and, if we do, as we hope, if we’ll go back to speak to the Stewards that were on duty in Melbourne, in an online meeting, or if the matter passes to the hands of the Stewards of the Meeting from the next race, in Azerbaijan, for them to decide.” In conclusion, Vasseur explained that, “given there’s still three weeks before the next race, we’re hoping to have a final decision before we get to Azerbaijan, as the sooner this is decided, the better it is for everybody.”